Director's blog

Get behind the scenes at the National Trust with our directors and hear first-hand what's happening at our places and how we're making them special for ever, for everyone.

This blog is written by National Trust directors National Trust directors
Croome court with the chinese bridge and river early summer

Over the coming months, the National Trust's Director-General, Hilary McGrady, will fill us in on what she's been hearing from supporters at the member events she's hosting across the country, and share more insights. Hilary will be joined in this blog by other directors from the Trust with their latest news.

Latest posts

11 Nov 2020

Finding places of calm amidst a ‘culture war’

Published: 11 November 2020

After a year of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever for everyone to have access to green spaces, historical stories and beautiful places to find a sense of calm. These are the things we look after, for everyone to reach some normality. <br><br> Many cultural institutions have become the subject of fierce debate, moving discussions away from what the nation needs most right now: ...

Continue reading... 

6 Nov 2020

Reflections on a challenging year

Published: 6 November 2020

In June, because of the pandemic, we agreed with the Charity Commission to replace our Annual General Meeting with a members' broadcast. Below Director General Hilary McGrady discusses the challenges of the last 12 months.

Continue reading... 

28 Oct 2020

Our response to the Government's proposed planning reform

Published: 28 October 2020

Today, a consultation closes on the Government's proposed planning reforms, an area of great importance to us. Director-General Hilary McGrady outlines her thoughts on the proposals, and what this means for the future of nature, beauty and history.

Continue reading... 

19 Oct 2020

Learning from Black History Month and our future commitment

Published: 19 October 2020

It's the mid-point of Black History Month. Tiger de Souza, our Volunteering, Participation & Inclusion Director, gives his reflections on why it's so important for us to do more to share and celebrate black histories, from the places we look after, in the future.

Continue reading... 

23 Sep 2020

Churchill and Chartwell: telling the whole story

Published: 23 September 2020

Celia Richardson, our Director of Communications and Insight, has written a response to some recent media coverage of our report into colonialism and historic slavery that says that we are denigrating Churchill by including Chartwell, his family home in Kent, in the report. In this blog she highlights the work we are doing to tell the story of this towering historical figure and why Chartwell’s...

Continue reading... 

21 Sep 2020

Beautiful places, challenging histories

Published: 21 September 2020

Our new report on the connections that some of the places in our care have with colonialism and historic slavery was always going to attract strong views. In this blog, our Director of Culture and Engagement, John Orna-Ornstein, reflects on the importance of being open about histories of slavery and colonialism and why publishing the report is the right thing to do.

Continue reading... 

26 Aug 2020

Dumbing down our cultural heritage? Quite the opposite

Published: 26 August 2020

John Orna-Ornstein, our Director of Culture and Engagement, has written a response to the recent stories in the press about our vision for historic buildings. In this blog he discusses what we're doing to care for these important places and collections.

Continue reading... 

21 Aug 2020

Our vision for places and experiences

Published: 21 August 2020

​​There have been recent stories in the press about the vision we have for built heritage in our care, and experiences at these historical places. Hilary McGrady, Director-General, has written a response to shed light on what we're doing as a conservation charity through the pandemic and beyond for built heritage and historical collections.

Continue reading... 

8 Jul 2020

Welcoming you back to the houses in our care

Published: 8 July 2020

This week we’ll be opening seven houses in England and Northern Ireland to visitors for the first time since lockdown. They're part of our phased reopening, to ensure we can safely welcome you back to the houses we care for. John Orna-Ornstein, our Director of Culture and Engagement, explains what we’ve been doing to prepare to reopen the doors again.

Continue reading... 

3 Feb 2020

Working together to tackle climate change

Published: 3 February 2020

Challenges in caring for places we love, and the changes in how we do so, have been brought about by the climate emergency. We need to come up with new ways to cope with the impacts, which will affect not only wildlife and areas of natural beauty, but buildings and collections too. Patrick Begg, our Outdoors and Natural Resources Director, takes a look at future plans for tackling climate change.

Continue reading... 

More to explore